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Top 5 Trends from the 2012 Winter Fancy Food Show

Get ready for pickled cherries, oat shakes, coconut oil and more.
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A group of food journalists and cookbook authors participated in a trendspotting panel at the Winter Fancy Food Show this week to uncover the leading food and beverage trends at the event. After spending two days combing the aisles of nearly 80,000 products, here are their top-five picks for trends you'll see reflected on store shelves around the U.S.

Top trends of 2012

1. Ancient Grains

Quinoa, amaranth, chia, flax and other centuries-old grains proliferated offerings at the show, in everything from pasta to side dishes to snacks. Some examples include:

  • Al Dente Pasta BonaChia Fettucini, made with chia and available in Original and Spinach flavors.
  • Origen Quinoa Puffs, snacks from a Santiago, Chile-based company in flavors such as Honey.


2. Pickling 2.0

Old-fashioned sour pickles and bread-and-butters are still popular, but pickling has entered a new phase beyond the humble cucumber. Peas, carrots, beets, okra and, most interestingly, an array of pickled fruits are the latest things on the market.

  • Unbound Pickling Pickled Cherries, Northwest cherries soaked in a vanilla and tarragon brine. They can be used as a glaze, as an accompaniment to a charcuterie plate or as a topping for cheese.
  • Boat Street Pickles Apricots and Raisins. Pickled Apricots are cured in a syrup of apple cider vinegar, toasted curry and other spices and can be paired with blue cheese or aged cheddar or used on a charcuterie plate. Golden raisins are cured in cider vinegar, mustard seed, thyme, arbol chili and bay leaf. They can be paired with roasted pork loin or grilled sausages or added to couscous or coleslaw.

3. Drinks Go Nuts (and Seeds and Grains)

Beverage sources have gotten innovative to say the least and are offering alternatives to the same old juices or soft drinks.

  • Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water, created from a recipe by the founder’s grandmother, this ready-to-drink, non-alcoholic beverage originated in France. It contains pure cane sugar and no artificial flavors or colors.
  • Simpli OatShakes are low in sugar, high in fiber and naturally vegan. These oat-based shakes come in berry, chocolate and tropical fruit flavors.

4. Gluten Free Grows Up

Whether battling dietary intolerances or seeking cleaner food choices, shoppers are increasingly opting for gluten-free foods. And producers are rising to the occasion with a host of new entries that don't leave out the flavor and quality.

  • Cup4Cup Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend, created by famed chef Thomas Keller who has used it at The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, Ad Hoc and Bouchon Bakery since 2010 to accommodate gluten-free requests from its guests. The multi-purpose flour replaces all-purpose varieties in equal amounts in quick bread, scone, muffin, cookie, cake and biscuit recipes.
  • Love Grown Foods Gluten-Free Granola is subtly sweetened with honey and agave and made without any genetically modified ingredients. Each bag contains nuts, dried fruits and dark chocolate.

5. Coconut Cracks Open

KelapoFrom flavoring scones to jams to ice cream to being used as a basis for waters or oils, coconut was everwhere at the Fancy Food Show.

  • Blue Monkey Coconut Water is sustainably sourced from Southeast Asia and made from young coconuts. It is loaded with potassium and magnesium.
  • Beneficial Blends Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil and Coconut Oil Softgel can be used as a healthy alternative to hydrogenated oils in baking or sauuteeing.

The Trendspotters

The trendspotters are Stephanie Dean, Sunset Magazine, Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, Nancy Wall Hopkins, Better Homes & Gardens, Kara Nielsen, CCD Innovation, Evan Orensten, Cool Hunting, Jennifer Pelka and Ruth Reichl, Gilt Taste, Denise Purcell, Specialty Food Media, Kalena Ross, Blackboard Eats, Stephanie Stiavetti, contributor to NPR, KQED, Huffington Post, Susie Timm, Girl Meets Fork, and Joanne Weir, PBS television host, cookbook author, chef.

1 comment

MJRCG We also spotted some tasty trends at the Fancy Food Show. Here's what we found interesting: http://www.mjrcg.com/blog/2013/01/top-trends-of-the-2013-western-fancy-food-show/
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